Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Marriott Volunteers Encourage Homeless with Hygiene Kits and Handwritten Notes

The Little Things Can Mean So Much

Sometimes when you are at your lowest—homeless, alone, lost and without hope—all you really want is for someone to show that they care.

That's why when volunteers from Marriott International came together to assemble hygiene kits for the homeless in Greater New Orleans, they also included positive, handwritten notes of encouragement.

These kits are so important during our homeless outreach in the Greater New Orleans area. When case workers from our Supportive Services Program approach the homeless—under bridges and overpasses, on street corners or in parks—their goal is to identify homeless veterans and get them the help they need, usually within 48 hours.

But what about the homeless they encounter who aren't veterans?

When this happens, case workers refer the individuals to other organizations and services that can help, but they also leave a little piece of hope. The hygiene kits (which contain necessary items such as toothpaste and toothbrushes, lotion, shampoo and conditioner and shaving kits) give these individuals a feeling of dignity. Being able to practice good hygiene makes them feel human again.

The notes of encouragement remind these individuals that someone cares.